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10 Most Popular Compact SUVs and Crossovers

By: Jeff Youngs, 5/30/2014
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If you're looking for a compact SUV or crossover, this guide provides basic information and ratings for the ten most popular,* non-luxury, small sport utility vehicles on the market. If none of these vehicles meets your requirements, other compact SUV models to consider include the Buick Encore, Hyundai Tucson, Jeep Compass, Kia Sportage, Nissan Juke, Mitsubishi Outlander, Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, and Volkswagen Tiguan.

* Popularity based on April 2014 new-vehicle sales


2014 Honda CR-V
The Honda CR-V is the most popular compact SUV in America. It is offered in LX, EX, and leather-lined EX-L trim levels, each equipped with a 185-horsepower, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, automatic transmission, and front- (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD).

Base Price--$23,950
Initial Quality Rating--Among the Best
Predicted Reliability Rating--Better than Most
Overall Vehicle Appeal Rating--Better than Most
Fuel Economy Range (city/highway mpg)--22/31
NHTSA Crash Test Rating--5 stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating--Not a "Top Safety Pick"
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat--37.2 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded--70.9 cu. ft.


2014 Ford Escape
The Ford Escape is the second most popular compact SUV in America, based on April 2014 auto sales. It is offered in S, SE, and Titanium trim levels with a choice between three 4-cylinder engines ranging from 168 horsepower to 240 horsepower. Two of the three engines are turbocharged. An automatic transmission is standard and the Escape features FWD or AWD.

Base Price--$23,505
Initial Quality Rating--The Rest
Predicted Reliability Rating--The Rest
Overall Vehicle Appeal Rating--About Average
Fuel Economy Range (city/highway mpg)--21/32
NHTSA Crash Test Rating--4 stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating--Not a "Top Safety Pick"
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat--34.3 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded--67.8 cu. ft.


2014 Chevrolet Equinox
Among compact SUVs, the Chevrolet Equinox is the third most popular model in America. It is sold in LS, LT, and LTZ trim levels equipped with a 182-horsepower, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder or a 301-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 engine. An automatic transmission is standard, and the Equinox features FWD or AWD.

Base Price--$25,315
Initial Quality Rating--Among the Best
Predicted Reliability Rating--About Average
Overall Vehicle Appeal Rating--Better than Most
Fuel Economy Range (city/highway mpg)--16/32
NHTSA Crash Test Rating--4 stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating--"Top Safety Pick+"
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat--31.5 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded--63.7 cu. ft.


2014 Toyota RAV4
The Toyota RAV4 is the fourth most popular compact SUV in America. It comes in LE, XLE, and Limited trim levels, each equipped with a 176-horsepower, 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine. An automatic transmission is standard, and the RAV4 features FWD or AWD.

Base Price--$24,410
Initial Quality Rating--Better than Most
Predicted Reliability Rating--Better than Most
Overall Vehicle Appeal Rating--Better than Most
Fuel Economy Range (city/highway mpg)--22/31
NHTSA Crash Test Rating--4 stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating--Not a "Top Safety Pick"
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat--38.4 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded--73.4 cu. ft.


2014 Nissan Rogue
Redesigned for 2014, the Nissan Rogue is the fifth most popular compact SUV in America. Trim levels include S, SV, and SL, and the Rogue is equipped with a 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and FWD or AWD. The previous-generation Rogue remains available, and is now called the Rogue Select.

Base Price--$23,650
Initial Quality Rating--Not Rated
Predicted Reliability Rating--Better than Most
Overall Vehicle Appeal Rating--Not Rated
Fuel Economy Range (city/highway mpg)--25/33
NHTSA Crash Test Rating--4 stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating--"Top Safety Pick+"
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat--39.3 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded--70.0 cu. ft.


2014 Subaru Forester
The Subaru Forester is redesigned for 2014, and is the sixth most popular compact SUV in America. It is sold in two model series, the 2.5i and the turbocharged 2.0XT, and depending on the series the available trim levels include Standard, Premium, Limited, and Touring. Horsepower ratings range from 170 to 250, an AWD system is standard, and buyers can select between a manual gearbox and a CVT.

Base Price--$22,820
Initial Quality Rating--Not rated
Predicted Reliability Rating--About Average
Overall Vehicle Appeal Rating--Not rated
Fuel Economy Range (city/highway mpg)--22/32
NHTSA Crash Test Rating--5 stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating--"Top Safety Pick+"
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat--34.4 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded--74.7 cu. ft.


2014 Jeep Patriot
The Jeep Patriot is the seventh most popular compact SUV in America. Styled to resemble the Cherokee of the 1980s and 1990s, the Patriot is available in Sport, Latitude, and Limited trim levels with three special-edition models called the Altitude, High Altitude, and Freedom Edition. Buyers choose between two 4-cylinder engines ranging from 158 horsepower to 172 horsepower, and the Patriot is equipped with FWD or a choice between two 4-wheel-drive (4WD) systems. A manual transmission and an automatic transmission are available, and a CVT is included with the 4WD system that offers the greatest off-roading capability.

Base Price--$17,190
Initial Quality Rating--About Average
Predicted Reliability Rating--The Rest
Overall Vehicle Appeal Rating--The Rest
Fuel Economy Range (city/highway mpg)--20/30
NHTSA Crash Test Rating--4 stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating--Not a "Top Safety Pick"
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat--23.0 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded--53.5 cu. ft.


2014 GMC Terrain
Under its skin, the eighth best-selling compact SUV in America, the GMC Terrain, is the same vehicle as the Chevrolet Equinox. The GMC is available in SLE, SLT, and Denali trim levels with a 182-horsepower, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder or a 301-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 engine. An automatic transmission is standard, and the Terrain is offered with FWD or AWD.

Base Price--$27,390
Initial Quality Rating--Better than Most
Predicted Reliability Rating--About Average
Overall Vehicle Appeal Rating--Among the Best
Fuel Economy Range (city/highway mpg)--16/32
NHTSA Crash Test Rating--4 stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating--"Top Safety Pick+"
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat--31.5 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded--63.7 cu. ft.


2014 Mazda CX-5
The Mazda CX-5 is the ninth best-selling compact SUV in America. It is available in Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring trim levels equipped with a 155-horsepower or a 184-horsepower 4-cylinder engine. A manual transmission is standard with the less powerful engine, while an automatic transmission is included for most versions of the CX-5. Front-wheel drive is standard, with AWD available as an option.

Base Price--$22,375
Initial Quality Rating--The Rest
Predicted Reliability Rating--The Rest
Overall Vehicle Appeal Rating--Among the Best
Fuel Economy Range (city/highway mpg)--24/35
NHTSA Crash Test Rating--5 stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating--"Top Safety Pick+" (models built after October 2013)
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat--34.1 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded--64.8 cu. ft.


2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek
Based on the Subaru Impreza, the Subaru XV Crosstrek rounds out our list of the 10 most popular compact SUVs in America in April. Offered in 2.0i or Hybrid model series with a choice between a 148-horsepower, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and a 160-horsepower, gas-electric hybrid powertrain, the XV Crosstrek features Standard, Premium, Limited, or Touring trim levels, depending on the series. A manual gearbox or a CVT can be installed in the 2.0i model, while the Hybrid is equipped with a standard CVT. All-wheel drive is standard for all XV Crosstreks.

Base Price--$22,820
Initial Quality Rating--The Rest
Predicted Reliability Rating--About Average
Overall Vehicle Appeal Rating--The Rest
Fuel Economy Range (city/highway mpg)--23/33
NHTSA Crash Test Rating--5 stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating--"Top Safety Pick"
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat--22.3 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded--51.9 cu. ft.

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